On Saturday 16th May, just days before the opening of the new Dementia Village, a group of 34 young people aged 14-17, armed with forks and spades, tackled a project at the Community Hub in Bowthorpe, Norwich intended to support people with dementia, their carers and the wider community.
Despite the forecast downpours and sleet, the youth group from the Norwich Stake donned their wellies and waterproofs and set about the initial work for creating paths to access raised beds, a sensory garden and living wall, and preparing and seeding wildflower areas.
Organised into 5 teams, each led by two 17 year-olds and supported by one or two adults, these young people demonstrated absolute commitment to the idea of giving themselves to improve life for an older generation. In two and a half hours they transformed the area: digging out and removing heavy soil and turf to create paths in readiness for aggregate to be laid; dismantling existing raised beds, clearing vegetation and then reconstructing them in a new position; turning over the sticky clay soil and sowing a mixture of wildflower seeds courtesy of Grow Wild and Kew Gardens.
This work was carried out under the direction of the ‘Grow Organisation’—a social enterprise based at the Hub dedicated to providing activities designed to improve physical and mental health and assisting people to live independent lives. The Bowthorpe Hub hosts a dementia-friendly café on Fridays and can also provide training for those wishing to become dementia friends.
Alex from the ‘Grow Organisation’ said, “Everyone worked fantastically hard and it was an absolute pleasure working with the group. Their interaction has been a great help in getting our garden design off the ground with a flying start. Well done to all!”